Boyle: Word "Genocide" missing in UN Panel's war crimes report

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 April 2011, 12:09 GMT]
Pointing out the instances where the criminal allegations on Sri Lanka made in the UN's war crimes report support the charge of genocide on Sri Lanka, Professor Francis Boyle, expert in International Law and Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, told TamilNet, "[f]or obvious political reasons, no one wants to use the word “genocide." And that is because it then raises the question why did no one stop the genocide as required by article I of the Genocide Convention. The same phenomenon happened in Bosnia. No one would use the word “genocide” until afterwards, and it was too late to do anyone any good—they were all dead."

Boyle points to the accusation of "persecution" against Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), in para 251, pg. 69: "The credible allegations supporting a finding of the crime against humanity of persecution insofar as the other acts listed here appear to have been committed on racial or political grounds against the Tamil population of the Vanni... "

Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois
This would support a genocide charge. And yet they (the members of UN panel) fail to get into genocide, Boyle says.

"Concerning their estimate that about 40,000 Tamils were exterminated by the GOSL in Vanni, that is about 5 times the 7000+ Bosnians exterminated at Srebrenica in 1995," and Prof Boyle provided the following analysis:
    In its final Judgment on the merits in the Bosnia case that was issued in 2007, the World Court definitively agreed with me once and for all time that in order to constitute genocide, a state must only intend to destroy a “substantial part” of the group “as such”:

    198. In terms of that question of law, the Court refers to three matters relevant to the determination of “part” of the “group” for the purposes of Article II. In the first place, the intent must be to destroy at least a substantial part of the particular group. That is demanded by the very nature of the crime of genocide: since the object and purpose of the Convention as a whole is to prevent the intentional destruction of groups, the part targeted must be significant enough to have an impact on the group as a whole. That requirement of substantiality is supported by consistent rulings of the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and by the Commentary of the ILC to its Articles in the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of mankind (e.g. Krstić, IT-98-33-A, Appeals Chamber Judgment, 19 April 2004, paras. 8-11 and the cases of Kayishema, Byilishema, and Semanza there referred to; and Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1996, Vol. II, Part Two, p. 45, para. 8 of the Commentary to Article 17).[1]

    Furthermore, in paragraphs 293 and 294 of its 26 February 2007 Bosnian Judgment, the World Court found that you did not need six million exterminated people in order to constitute genocide. Rather, even the seven thousand murdered Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica were enough to constitute genocide. These victims constituted about one-fifth of the Srebrenica community.

    In this regard, I still serve as Attorney of Record for the Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinja who constitute one of the primary groups of women survivors of that genocidal massacre still living in Bosnia today. I have personally toured the Killing Fields of Srebrenica with my Bosnian clients. I know genocide when I see it!
"The Report says nothing about genocide or the Genocide Convention. But I have already set forth the appropriate test from the ICJ’s judgment in the Bosnian case and have discussed this at great length in my book The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka. So I am not going to repeat any of that analysis here," Prof Boyle said.

Commenting on the "para 229, p. 63 …the State inexplicably excluded the ICRC, with its highly skilled family tracing services…," Professor Boyle explained, "the reason the ICRC was excluded and expelled was for the GOSL to better engage in enforced disappearances. Once registered with the ICRC, it becomes much harder to disappear someone."

For setting up these No Fire Zones , luring civilians in there, and then pouring artillery fire in there were clearly acts of treachery and thus war crimes, Prof Boyle said, "all those generals (detailed in pp 16-17) should be listed as presumptive war criminals."


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